HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Meatless Meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meatless Meals. Show all posts

Friday, April 4, 2014

Petty Cash's Zucchini Quesadilla with Spicy Salsa Rioja

       
Food and Wine's Version 
As I was working my way through last month’s Food and Wine, I came to an overhead shot of a crispy, toasted tortilla topped with bright red chiles and cilantro leaves.  I was taken with the photo and I was consumed by the recipe. It’s vegetarian so perfect for those meatless meals I am trying to achieve at least once a week.  And I love a great Quesadilla, with the cheese oozing out the sides of the tortilla and filled inside with any number of meaty ingredients like a tinga of puerco, pollo or carne.  This Quesadilla has none of those.  Instead it’s filled with a smoky flavored salsa made with roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic, thin slices of zucchini and as much Monterrey Jack cheese as you can stuff into it.  It’s pure Mexican street food but it was invented in a place that’s about un-Mexican as anywhere in Los Angeles CA. It’s on Beverly Boulevard between Beverly Hills and Hancock Park.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ribollita, the "Flexitarian" Stew adapted from Mark Bittman in The New York Times


Mark Bittman, "The Flexitarian"
Mark Bittman calls himself “The Flexitarian”.  He writes about his food philosophy in The New York Times Dining Out Section once a month.  I am happy to report that from the start Bittman promised that, first and foremost, his new column would be an ode to great-tasting food. What he offers too is food for those of us who are moderate in our eating habits—certainly not strict vegans or vegetarians--but omnivores making conscious choices about what we eat. His recipes are for all of us trying to incorporate more good-for-you plants and fewer animal proteins into our diets.  For all their hullabaloo, vegans and vegetarians make up a scant 5% of the population. But a lot of us are working hard to assimilate healthier grains, fish, legumes, fruits and vegetables into our diets more often.  And that’s where Bittman’s recipes come in.  They offer truly  flavorful food that I can only describe as even tasting healthy, a sensation I had as I dug into this Ribollita, a cheesy, vegetable-rich stew with its giant ‘crouton’ of whole grain bread.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Poached Salmon with Minted Yogurt Sauce


Cooking is often the most Zen activity of my day. Especially when I come across a recipe that is elegant in its simplicity, beautiful to look at as I am preparing it and finally, a wonderful experience when it is eaten.  This recipe, which came from Food and Wine, falls right into that category.  It’s so soothing looking that I made its cooking the main illustration above.  With its parsley and dill branches looking like reeds in a stream, it’s a treat just to look at.  But the surprise came when we tasted our first bites.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc Sauce

       
What’s wonderful about this dish is that its name alone sounds as if you’ve gone to an inordinate amount of trouble making it.  In reality, it’s one of the easiest things on earth to get on the table.  This recipe is as close as I could come to a dish that’s an all-time favorite at Sag Harbor’s “Dockside” restaurant.  Now “Dockside” at 26 Bay Street (Tel: 631-725-7100) is an anomaly. It’s situated in one half of the American Legion Hall. Dockside’s bar is decorated with the crests of the service branches the Legion represents.  Believe it or not, there’s a dearth of places in the Hamptons with water views.  While Dockside is not port side, it is right across the road from the yachts and sailboats moored and docked at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club.  It has an outdoor
terrace that’s a wonderful place for lunch on a sunny day. And for small town Americana, what could beat the Sag Harbor Community Band’s Tuesday night concerts?  These are held directly in front of the Legion every Tuesday in July and August. If you’ve lucky enough to snag a table at Dockside, which does not take reservations, you’ll be serenaded with rousing music in the style of John Phillip Sousa. “Dockside” is a second generation restaurant owned by Stacy Sheehan’s father before Stacy took over and transformed the place from a hamburger joint into a really great place to eat wonderful local food.  Among the offerings is a version of Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon Beurre Blanc.  Now that Dockside has closed down for the season and won’t reopen until February 13 th, I couldn’t wait to make this at home.  But first, of course, I had to check on the cod.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Two from One: Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese and Roasted Cauliflower Soup




        

On a recent “Chopped”, the Food Network TV show that pits four chefs against a basket full of incongruous ingredients, a very sad fact was served up to the audience.  Americans throw away 40 percent of the food they buy!  The dollar amount is staggering:  According to Reuters, $165 billion worth or 90 billion pounds of food goes un-eaten. Apparently in this land of plenty, where millions of people are on government food programs and where a staggering 14 percent of children go to bed hungry, there are equal numbers who throw food away with abandon.  And I can’t say that in our house we’re completely guilt-free.  A recent refrigerator clean-out included a few half chopped onions, some very wilted carrots and lots of unidentified liquids and solids making penicillin in plastic food containers.  I am not about to offer excuses.  I grew up having “Waste Not, Want Not” etched into memory.  But the plain fact is that a lot of the recipes I work with are for more than just two people.  Andrew will very often ask “So how many people are coming to dinner?”.  Most of the time I can cut things back to a reasonable portion for two.  But there are ingredients that just don’t divvy up.  Take, for example, a head of Cauliflower.   It’s one of the last of the year’s fresh vegetables. Arrayed at the farm stand with its white center peeking out from its green housing, I find it irresistible.  This year, I was determined to cook one but not force us into involuntary vegetarianism.  The solution: make two dishes out of one head.  It turned out that one night’s meatless meal was another day’s creamed soup for lunch. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Fish Story: Gemelli with Spicy Scallops and Snap Peas



        
You might want to hide
after what I turned up...
read on...
Here’s a food writer’s dilemma for you:  Say you discovered a great recipe so full of flavor and so easy to make, you literally jumped on your MacPro and started to extoll its praises the morning after you made it.  You were taken, not just with its ease of preparation, but with the price you paid for its key ingredient.  And its pedigree impressed you:  The Chef who created the recipe had a reputation as a 2013 “Rising Star” semi-finalist for a James Beard Award and was the winner of StarChefs.com 2013 New York Rising Stars Award.  You were unfamiliar with his restaurant but quickly discovered that the New York Times’ Pete Wells had given it 2 stars in 2012.  Then you probed a little deeper and things got very dicey.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Branzino with Arugula Sauce from Chef Sandro Romano of Armani Ristorante in New York



        
Armani Ristorante hasn’t exactly barged its way into the New York culinary scene.  Some wags have even suggested that Giorgio Armani opened the place solely to be able to enjoy pasta his way. He’d made no effort to conceal his displeasure with the heavily sauced pastas he’d been served in New York.  The restaurant, on the third floor of the flagship Armani store at 717 Fifth Ave. (Tel: 212 207 1902), has a lunch following that drops off the minute the store closes.  It’s then that you use the entrance right around the corner on 56th  Street. But things may well be on the upswing with the arrival of Sandro Romano.
Chef Romano in his kitchen
Chef Romano was at The Modern, the wildly successful Danny Meyer restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art for 8 years.  To salute his arrival, Florence Fabricant of the New York Times approached the chef for a recipe to complement an article on Greek wines.  The Chef came up with a recipe for Branzino with a semi-warm arugula sauce that the roasted fish sits on.  It has the bitterness of arugula combined with enough citrus to give the sauce some acidity which is very complimentary to the floral quality of Greek wines.  And it’s a breeze to make, taking all of 40 minutes from start to finish.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Creamed Mushroom Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions From Chef Chris Pandel of Chicago's Balena via Sam Sifton in the New York Times Magazine


  
        
Balena
1633 N Halsted St  Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 867-3888
As Sam Sifton recalls, when the waitress at Chicago’s Balena restaurant approached the table with a steak knife, everyone’s eyebrows went up. No one had ordered steak.  The waitress explained the knife was for the mushrooms.  Someone had ordered a ravishing dish: Creamy-rich Creminis browned to perfection and very simply cooked with some shallots and fresh thyme before being turned into complete ambrosia with a beaker of heavy cream.  Not content to stop there, Chef Chris Pandel used them atop thick slices of toasted Sour Dough Rye Bread crowned with the sweetest of caramelized onions. They literally jumped off the page at me. I could not wait to try them. And neither apparently could Sam Sifton.

Monday, March 12, 2012

He made, she made and then I made Ellie Krieger’s Pasta Puttanesca

Bobby Deen's Light Baked Spaghetti versus....
Pasta Puttanesca from Ellie Krieger
         Unless you live under some media-free rock, you have likely heard of the kerfuffle surrounding the announcement that Paula Deen, the Food Network’s Diva of Southern Cuisine, has contracted Type II diabetes.  The news came in a barrage of Deen-related press releases informing us that not only had Ms. Deen admitted to her much-rumoured diabetes, she had also signed on as the paid spokesperson for an insulin replacement therapy.  Coupled with this shocker was the introduction of Paula’s son Billy’s new television program “Not my Mama’s Meals” in which Ms. Deen’s son would re-create his mother’s high fat, high calorie dishes into something healthier.  All this was greeted with jeers from Ms. Deen’s harshest critic, Anthony Bourdain of “No Reservations” TV fame and the author of “Kitchen Confidential”. Mr Bourdain, who had earlier attacked Ms. Deen calling her “the most dangerous woman in American”, jumped into the fray with the following Twitter post: He said: 'Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.' My own take on Ms. Deen’s diabetes was similar to hearing the news that the Marlboro men of cigarette fame, carried oxygen tanks on the back of their horses.  Cause meet effect.